Global Monsoon Seasons

These World Spots Depend on Seasonal Monsoon Winds and Rains

"Monsoon" which is derived from mauism (the Arabic word for "season") was first used to describe the winds over the Arabian Sea which blow from the northeast during the winter, and from the opposite direction, from the southwest, during the summer. It has since been applied to similar wind patterns in other parts of the world.

Indian Monsoon

Women planting rice shoots under Monsoon Rain
undefined

Occurs from June - September

The southwest Indian monsoon accounts for roughly 80% of India's rainfall. Part of the reason India gets such an intense monsoon season is due to its elevation. The higher the land mass, the higher the likelihood of the development of a low pressure zone. The Tibetan Plateau to the north of India is one of the largest and highest plateaus on Earth.

The southwest Indian monsoon accounts for roughly 80% of India's rainfall. Part of the reason India gets such an intense monsoon season is due to its elevation. The higher the land mass, the higher the likelihood of the development of a low pressure zone. The Tibetan Plateau to the north of India is one of the largest and highest plateaus on Earth.

African Monsoon

Occurs from June - September

The West and South African rainy seasons are driven by the shift of ITCZ winds (the primary cause is the temperature and humidity differences between the Sahara Desert and the equatorial Atlantic Ocean).

The ITCZ "follows" the sun migrates northward and reaches western Africa near the end of June...

moving northward over western Africa in June/July which coincides with the onset of the West African Monsoon rainy season (retreat of the South African rainy season). The ITCZ then retreats back to its home over the equatorial Atlantic in the winter, which coincides with the onset of the rainy season in South Africa (retreat of the West African). 

A Poor 2015-2016 South Africa Rainy Season

The 2015-2016 southern Africa monsoon ranks among the worst in at least 30 years for many areas. Rains since October have been poor, delivering far less precipitation than usual. In fact, most areas have received below 80% of their normal rainfall. Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, and Southern Madagascar are hardest hit and have received less than half of their normal precipitation, which led to extensive drought at the start of 2016. This comes after a below-average 2014-2015 season which led to 2015 having the lowest annual total rainfall on record since records began in 1904. The current strong El Niño is partly to blame. During El Nino, drier than average conditions are felt more often than not across southern Africa during the rainy season.

East Asian Monsoon

Occurs from May - August

The southwest Indian monsoon accounts for roughly 80% of India's rainfall. Part of the reason India gets such an intense monsoon season is due to its elevation. The higher the land mass, the higher the likelihood of the development of a low pressure zone. The Tibetan Plateau to the north of India is one of the largest and highest plateaus on Earth.

The southwest Indian monsoon accounts for roughly 80% of India's rainfall. Part of the reason India gets such an intense monsoon season is due to its elevation. The higher the land mass, the higher the likelihood of the development of a low pressure zone. The Tibetan Plateau to the north of India is one of the largest and highest plateaus on Earth.

Australian Monsoon

Occurs from September - February

The southwest Indian monsoon accounts for roughly 80% of India's rainfall. Part of the reason India gets such an intense monsoon season is due to its elevation. The higher the land mass, the higher the likelihood of the development of a low pressure zone. The Tibetan Plateau to the north of India is one of the largest and highest plateaus on Earth.

The southwest Indian monsoon accounts for roughly 80% of India's rainfall. Part of the reason India gets such an intense monsoon season is due to its elevation. The higher the land mass, the higher the likelihood of the development of a low pressure zone. The Tibetan Plateau to the north of India is one of the largest and highest plateaus on Earth.

The southwest Indian monsoon accounts for roughly 80% of India's rainfall. Part of the reason India gets such an intense monsoon season is due to its elevation. The higher the land mass, the higher the likelihood of the development of a low pressure zone. The Tibetan Plateau to the north of India is one of the largest and highest plateaus on Earth.

European Monsoon

Occurs in June

The southwest Indian monsoon accounts for roughly 80% of India's rainfall. Part of the reason India gets such an intense monsoon season is due to its elevation. The higher the land mass, the higher the likelihood of the development of a low pressure zone. The Tibetan Plateau to the north of India is one of the largest and highest plateaus on Earth.

The southwest Indian monsoon accounts for roughly 80% of India's rainfall. Part of the reason India gets such an intense monsoon season is due to its elevation. The higher the land mass, the higher the likelihood of the development of a low pressure zone. The Tibetan Plateau to the north of India is one of the largest and highest plateaus on Earth.

North American Monsoon

Occurs from late June/early July - September

Even the United States has a monsoon season. Also known as the Mexican or Arizona monsoon, it impacts the southwestern U.S. and northwestern Mexico.